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| Last Updated:09/01/2014

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SOUL flays govt. for ‘multiple’ use of water bodies

The Hindu, 07 January, 2014


HYDERABAD: ‘Save Our Urban Lakes’, a group for protection of the water bodies in the city, has alleged that the government has issued 10 orders in the past six years, permitting change of land use from water bodies to others.


The latest in the series was issued in September last, with regard to Mushkin Cheruvu in Puppalguda village of Rajendranagar mandal, the organisation’s representatives alleged at a press conference here on Monday.


The GO 419 issued by the Department of Municipal Administration and Urban Development, recommended conversion of land use from water body and green belt to multiple use, for four survey numbers, 255(P), 257(P), 258(P) and 260(P) within the FTL of Mushkin Cheruvu.


Blaming multiple factors for disappearance of water bodies including building permissions inside the lakes, sewage and industrial pollutants discharged into the lakes, sewage treatment plants set up inside the lakes, encroachments, and also lake beautification projects, Lubna Sarwath, convener of SOUL said all these amounted to gross violation of various legislations pertaining to water bodies including WALTA, Telangana Irrigation Act, Andhra Pradesh Building Rules, and Water Protection Act.


Further, she alleged that quite a few water bodies were missing from the database of HMDA, 36 of them identified by SOUL alone. “The large Ibrahim Cheruvu in Rajendranagar is missing from the HMDA database, though a much smaller water body in the vicinity was identified,” Dr. Sarwath charged.


Sewage Treatment Plants were ineffective and constructed right inside the lakes, which itself amounted to encroachments, she pointed out.


“Even the lake beautification projects undertaken by the government leave the water bodies like ‘soup bowls’ among planned landscaping, hence not advisable. Lake boundaries are being demarcated, by leaving out the encroached portions, which should be stopped,” she observed.


SOUL sought implementation of WALTA Act, and deployment of designated officers according to the Act to make them responsible for violations. Original FTL boundaries should be demarcated at maximum water spread area.


Alleges government issued 10 orders in the past six years permitting change of land use from water bodies to others